Illusions You Hate Yourself For


People often come up with silly reasons for hatred, invent shortcomings and try to rate their value with the help of numbers. But take a look at their suffering from a different angle, and the reasons for hatred will disappear, giving way to happiness.


The Awl has recently published a letter, which is called “I hate myself because I do not work for BuzzFeed”. The letter itself is rough and painful; it comes from the depths of the human soul. And you do not even need to work in the media, to feel something familiar here.

How can I ever treat myself and my life well, knowing that I will never have what I have described? That I have missed the greatest opportunity in my life?

We all look at someone and feel it – just replace BuzzFeed with the achievement that is important for you, whether it’s a two-story house in the suburbs, a job in a large corporation or a brand item.

You hate yourself because you are not good enough

We constantly set some kind of framework for ourselves, which means being “good” or “being cool”, but we do not aspire to get it, we just envy those who have already achieved our goal.

One person wants to become a part of the BuzzFeed company, where everything is “wonderful and perfect”; another person wants to go to the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, yet another person wants to buy the latest model of a car.

In fact, they do not need any of these achievements; they just want to be quite cool, rich, famous, or smart to be able to afford this. Is this familiar to you?

The letter “I hate myself because I do not work for BuzzFeed” is actually not about BuzzFeed. It is about the Forbes list, about six-figure salaries, buying a house, about writing a book. It is even about a greater number of page views, about the number of followers on Twitter and friends on Facebook. In general, it is about being the best.

There is always someone better than you

A fact: our planet is inhabited by more than 7 billion people. No matter what you care about, in any case, there exists a person who will surpass you easily.

You hate yourself because you never win

Life is not a video game. You cannot freeze the time at that wonderful moment when you beat the bad guy, save the world, find your love, and when all are happy again. Life is not a trophy that can be put on a shelf.

You cannot win because winning does not exist

Too many of us get stuck playing a game they are bound to lose. To regain harmony with yourself, you need to only become aware of it. The truth is that:

  • getting promoted will not make you happy;
  • losing 10 kg of weight will not bring eternal bliss;
  • getting acquainted with someone, you will gain no real harmony in your soul;
  • having founded a company, you will not become happier;
  • creating a viral content, you will not win “once and for all.”

Any of these achievements gives you a little promotion, a little dopamine. But then, as soon as the hormone disappears, you become your real self again and start to humiliate and hate yourself again.

Broken measures of success

It is so easy to get trapped by numbers. How many people are subscribed to your channel on YouTube? How many subscribers do you have in Instagram? How many times was the latest article viewed? Okay, how much likes has it received?

We have made web traffic a measure to evaluate our self-worth. But here’s the problem: traffic cannot be used for such evaluations. It’s not fair and devoid of objectivity. Just as you cannot judge a person by the number of friends.

Each of you must have an extrovert friend (or you are such type of a person yourself), who has a crowd of friends and acquaintances. It seems that these people know half the town; they are friendly and are always surrounded by people.

Introverts and people of the mixed type are often surprised or even begin to be jealous: why does this person have so many friends and acquaintances in any area? Is he/she so charismatic that he/she literally attracts people?

To understand what’s going on, we need to understand what the word “friend” means for you. Such “extreme” extroverts have a bunch of people whose party they can visit, whom they can go to a music festival with or play football. And when it comes to close friends and the people whom you can turn to at any time, the situation changes and there are not so many of them.

It does not mean that extroverts are superficial and introverts feel at a loss.

When it comes to the range of communication and social interaction, numbers do not mean anything.

We just cannot have 50 best friends because they do not have time to maintain a deep relationship with so many people.

The same thing concerns the number of subscribers, views, and other numbers which you are trying to use to judge about your popularity. In fact, it does not matter, whether one thousand or 10 million people will see what you have posted. Your brain just does not perceive so many people and does not give any importance to this.

You hate yourself for the wrong reasons

Figures mean little not only in terms of social interactions; they also may not have any importance in your work and the reasons to be proud of or hate yourself.

For example, an engineer and designer Nicky Lee spoke about the most important essay in her life, which was read only by 100 people. She published an essay about her experience of depression; after reading it, 10 people addressed her. Each one of them told her about his/her experience of a depressing state, shared the impressions and felt better. After reading this essay, the feeling of loneliness became less acute, and the people suffering from the same illness felt that they could overcome it.

Nicky’s most popular essay was read by more than 80 thousand people. She wrote it two hours before boarding the plane, and it meant almost nothing to her.

Of course, one cannot say that popular works mean less or that they cannot be good. You just have to understand that being popular and being good are not the same things.

Two ways to become famous

So, there is always someone better, there will always be people who beat you and make you hate yourself again, if you are used to it. Just be aware of it. You can aspire to reach the heights in the business you have chosen and quietly hate yourself for not being the best in it. You may act otherwise as well.

There are two ways to be noticed: to be the best in the world in some field or to create something new. You can become an absolute leader in a game that already exists. Or you can create your own game.

Do good things rather than popular ones

Here’s the secret to feeling good: do what you think is interesting, create what you think is good. Become the person you personally would respect.

You are the only person who knows what’s going on in your head. You live with it every second and every minute of the day. Stop waiting for some illusory approval and attention of the crowd. Just choose something that makes you really interested and do it.

Do something you will be proud of. The rest will come later, and even if you do not come, it will not mean anything to you.

Do you hate yourself for not working for BuzzFeed? Write for yourself. Write a story about what you think is important, even if it is read only by 10 people. Put a piece of your soul in it.

Do you hate yourself for not working on a new startup? Build something for yourself. Find someone who needs something, even if he/she has no money. Offer the best possible solution to the problem that you have never heard of. Even if only 10 people get to know about it.